USMC F/A-18C unit VMFA-312 deploy to Poland

After participating in major multinational NATO training exercise, Cold Response 22, Boeing F/A-18C Hornets from USMC VMFA-312 ‘Checkerboards’ have deployed to Lask Air Base in Poland.

The number of F/A-18s and supporting personnel that arrived in Poland is unconfirmed, but according to a social media post by the official page of the 2nd Marine Aircraft wing (2nd MAW) on April 4, the rationale behind the rapid, ‘no-notice’ deployment is to strengthen NATO’s defence in Europe’s eastern flank and increase operational readiness during the Ukraine Russia crisis.

According to the same official page on March 31, multiple units of the USMC dispersed to locations across Europe after Cold Response in Norway. According to multiple outlets such as the Aviationist, this is believed to be up to ten F/A-18 Legacy Hornets and an unspecified number of USMC KC-130s.

USMC Hornets
USMC F/A-18Hornets prepare for aerial refueling during Exercise Cold Response 2022, Bodø, Norway, March 15, 2022. This was the exercise the unit particapted in prior to redeploying to Poland. USMC/Sgt Megan Rose

Maj Gen Michael S. Cederholm, 2nd MAW Commanding General said: “Elements of 2nd MAW rapidly redeployed from exercising with allies in the Arctic, to locations across eastern Europe. Due to our unique capabilities, very high state of readiness, and ability to deploy to expeditionary locations with no-notice, Marines bring stability and immediately contribute to the defence and deterrence that the USAFE&A, US European Command (EUCOM), and our NATO team is providing across all of NATO members’ sovereign territory.”